You all know by now that I loooove my weekend getaways. A little trip from Friday evening to Sunday night or Monday morning can be just enough time for me to feel like I got out of my normal routine, thrived in some local culture, and bonded with my traveling partners. This girl’s getaway was with 2 of my closest girlfriends in one big city: New York City.
For us, a girls getaway in New York City is all about eating too much, clinking glasses, laughing til we cry, and making memories that last a lifetime. Because this was the first time in the city for my two girlfriends, we could’ve done everything that I suggest for a weekend in New York City for a first-timer. Instead, we planned to have almost no plans and I loved it. Knowing our love for local restaurants, we chose to spend a lot of time eating our way through the city and doing several free things along the way. I pulled together all of our highlights from this weekend trip to help you plan your own girls getaway!
Weekend Highlights for a Girls Getaway in New York City
We arrived on Friday afternoon and got to our hotel around 4:00pm. We chose the Kimpton Ink48 because of its location, queen beds, and rooftop bar. The room was clean, modern, and had plenty of space for the three of us. By 5:00pm, we were ready to kick off the girls getaway with a happy hour.
This particular Friday was the first full day of sunshine and temperatures above 60 after another snowstorm in the city. In April. We should’ve known that everyone and their brother would be coming out of hibernation for a Friday happy hour, but we took a taxi to 230 5th Avenue Rooftop Bar anyway.
The line was out the door but moved quickly so we had high hopes for the rooftop bar, but when we arrived on the 20th floor, it was packed. Like, shoulder to shoulder of people outside and every table was taken inside. The worst part is that it was“self-service”. I think they had a total of 3 bars for hundreds of people to get in line and wait for a drink. No, thank you. We took one awkward lap around the rooftop, which did have stellar views, but then headed out to find a different spot.
Side Note: Even when we returned to the 230 5th Avenue rooftop bar on Sunday, our experience was pretty poor. There’s nothing worse than paying for a $15 boozy hot chocolate and having a miserable bartender serving it to you.
Slip into Cajun Sea for Happy Hour
Cajun Sea had me at $1 oysters for happy hour. We only had to wait a few minutes (long enough to grab a glass of rosé at the bar) and they sat us. The girls and I split a dozen raw oysters and a stack of Cajun fries before heading out. It was an awesome little spot to start the evening.
Grab some pizza at Vezzo Thin Crust
We couldn’t think of a better way to kick off a girls getaway in New York City than with a big, delicious pizza! The girls and I sat at the bar and savored every bite from our frommagio bianco pizza. The thin crust was what pizza dreams are made of. And don’t get me wrong, the three of us love a deep-dish as much as the next guy, but Vezzo’s thin-crust allowed me to eat that extra slice, ya know?!
Check out Times Square at night
We decided to tackle the tourist trap at night to see the skies light up from the advertisements. We took in the chaos, snapped some selfies, and dashed out of there when guys kept coming up to us trying to sell us “candid” photos of us taking pictures of each other. This was new to me at Times Square and I’m not a big fan. The first guy had a better approach, but by the third guy, we were over it. Nonetheless, the TKTS steps and vibrant city energy makes Times Square a must-do for every girls getaway New York City!
Saturday was a beautiful day.
We booked a 30-minute session to capture some sweet moments from our girls getaway. We literally had champagne for breakfast before meeting up with Amanda, our Flytographer photographer, in the Soho area. I’ve never had professional photos with my girlfriends – other than my wedding day – and it was so much fun! Thirty minutes of our time got us photos we’ll cherish forever. My number one tip for your next girls getaway – invest in something more than selfies.
- Book your own Flytographer session and save $25 by using this link or using code KATHERINEFOX and share it on Twitter to let your friends know, too!
The Butcher’s Daughter
The Butcher’s Daughter was right by our photoshoot location and we had all heard amazing things about the place. With just a 20 minute wait on a Saturday, this little gem is perfect for your “best brunch life“.
When you’re on a girls getaway there is no such thing as too much brunch. We left The Butcher’s Daughter and immediately hopped over to Pietro Nolita for a second brunch. Judge us.
Tucked behind a millennial pink door is a cozy restaurant with a 1950’s diner feel. With an explosion of pink touching everything you see, it was a perfect place for brunch number two. Warning: you’ll be taking photos more than eating.
We couldn’t stop there. We had a champagne buzz and felt like the city was in the palm of our hands! (Dramatic, but that’s what drinking before noon does to ya 😉 ). So what did we want to do? Find the best margaritas in town.
Pizza Beach surprised us with the oceanside vibes and a fun American style. Coming from the impressive Pietro Nolita, we loved their attention to detail and colorful atmosphere. All we did here was order spicy margaritas at the bar and it kicked me in the mouth until I almost felt sober, but they were so good! I never knew I loved spicy margaritas until then and now I’m obsessed with the fun flavor. In fact, I’m spiraling into a Pinterest hole searching for recipes right now. 😋
Brooklyn Bridge Park
The margaritas required us to grab a taxi from Pizza Beach to Brooklyn Bridge Park. The park, located under the Brooklyn Bridge, features gorgeous city and water views, and is perfect for snapping selfies and landscape photos. There are awesome restaurants there, like Shake Shack and The River Café , but we headed over to our next stop – Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.
Cobblestone streets, brick buildings, and an epic view of the Manhattan bridge makes “insta-worthy” an understatement for DUMBO, but unfortunately, every Instagram model and their
photographer friend knows this. The closest we got to Instagram greatness included us almost getting hit by a van. Haha, but seriously, the backdrop is pretty amazing and just a short walk from the Brooklyn Bridge, it’s worth the stop.
Being iconic like Times Square, I think Brooklyn Bridge is always worth the walk. Again, the day was beautiful so the bridge was a little overwhelming with tons of tourists and locals that had the same idea. My best advice is to take your time on the bridge. Stop and soak in the beauty of New York City. It’s one of a kind.
Empire State Building
Around sunset, we found ourselves at the top of the Empire State Building. Unfortunately, the weather started to turn and it was rapidly getting colder and very windy. We didn’t spend much time on the 86th floor but got some wonderful views. Next time, I’ll be sure to bring my girls to Top of the Rock because, in my opinion, it offers even better views than the Empire State Building.
West Side Steakhouse Gallagher’s Steakhouse
My bestie, Kyrié, suggested Gallagher’s Steakhouse for dinner and I would have been on board, but that was the one steakhouse I visited in December. So I wanted to try a different steakhouse. West Side Steakhouse was good, but nothing compared to Gallagher’s Steakhouse. I think I need to take Kyrié on another trip just to make up for it. West Side Steakhouse made me appreciate Gallagher’s ambiance, wine selection, steaks, and service that much more.
The Press Lounge
The Press Lounge is located at the top of the Kimpton Ink48 hotel and delivers spectacular views. You can see the flashing lights of Times Square and skyscrapers for miles. The drinks were probably the priciest of our entire trip, but it was pretty awesome just taking the elevator to our floor at the end of the night!
Sunday threw us gloomy, cold weather that affected our moods altogether. But what is the best fix? Brunch. I sound so basic, but they don’t have brunch options in my hometown the way they do in NYC so we just had to embrace the food comas.
Brunch at Citizens of Chelsea
Located close to High Line Park, Citizens of Chelsea is what Sunday brunch is all about. Branded as an “Australian” café, it was only appropriate that our server melted our hearts with an Australian accent. The dangling greenery and neon signs made this a happy place to dig into some avocado toast or the “brekkie” sandwich. The cold brew was bold and full of flavor, the perfect kickstart to our Sunday.
Visit High Line Park
Even though we were pretty cold, we decided to walk High Line Park and it really is a cool experience to be above the sidewalks and streets of the city. The entire linear park is nearly 1.5 miles long, but we started about halfway through. The old railway combined with the plants and flowers of the park create an outdoor space that Joanna Gaines would pull inspiration from for her fixer-upper. I can imagine that in the warmer months, the vegetation makes High Line Park a beautiful place to take in some sunshine.
Stoll the Famous 5th Avenue
Gloomy weather is a great opportunity for some shopping so we took the time to stroll a few blocks of 5th Avenue.
Grab a margarita and taco at Añejo
Our hotel had given us three free margaritas to the Mexican restaurant, Añejo, so we couldn’t pass up free drinks in Manhattan. While I normally expect a free margarita to just be so-so, but this one was so good we ordered another round to go with our chips and salsa. The pork tacos made this little Mexican stop a highlight during the rainy afternoon.
Spoil yourself to dinner at Emilio’s Ballato!
All the eating and drinking was starting to catch up with us, but we couldn’t deny ourselves of an Italian meal while we were in New York City. Emilio’s was recommended to us by some friends and we actually got to sit right across from the owner who has his photo framed all over the restaurant with celebrities like Tom Hanks, Barack Obama, and more! We arrived late on a Sunday night so we didn’t have to wait at all. The food was the perfect send-off as our last meal in the city and the atmosphere truly reminded us of an old classic Italian restaurant. Emilio’s Ballato has been added to the top of my list for hidden gem restaurants in New York City.
This girls getaway was filled with so much laughter and fun! We didn’t see any shows and we missed out on places like Central Park and seeing the Statue of Liberty, but it’s impossible to do everything in Manhattan in just one weekend. Plus, it gives us another reason to go back to the city!
Where is your favorite destination for a girls getaway?!